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OFM ARCHIVES - PHILIPPINES

FRANCISCAN HOSPITALS

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HOSPITAL OF ST. JAMES OF NAGA

 

"Before the city of Naga was raised to the rank of city and head of the diocese, the Franciscan missionaries had already opened a hospital there which they named Saint James Hospital. Although the people used to call it St. Lazarus.  In time , this charitable institutions fell away.  Its administration, by royal disposition, passed from the hands of the religious to those of lay supervisors,  and in 1691, it folded up completely.  Various bishops, like Bishop Andres Gonzales, Felipe de Molina and Domingo Collantes, strove in later years to have it reopened , but in vain.  This resurrection was reserved to Bishop Francisco Gainza, who, with the aid of the Franciscans, had the satisfaction of inaugurating it, amid great difficulties, on the 12th of May 1873. and in magnanimous act of detachment, he handed it over to the Franciscans.  This new hospital was located in spot near Naga called Palestina (Fernadez, Pablo, OP, " THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN THE PHILIPPINES, " BOLETIN ECLESIASTICO DE FILIPINAS 44[1970], P. 653.)

 

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"We said in a private letter that we wrote to your Majesty in the said year six hundred and one that the conquistadores of these islands, in order to ease their consciences, had made certain restitutions to the natives in common by agreement with Fray Domingo de Salazar, first bishop of these islands.  With those restitutions quitrents were bought, and the money received there from is spend in ransoming the many captives in the power of surrounding enemies and in other alms which are made, both general and private.  In the time of famine and sickness which the Indians suffer, they are aided very often this alms assists the hospital of the Indians of this city and that of the city of Nueva Caceres in the province of Camarines" ("Letter from the Ecclesiastical Cabildo to Felipe III, manila, July 3, 1602,"  See The Philippine Islands, by Blair and Robertsons, Vol. XXXIV, p. 431.)

 

FRANCISCAN HOSPITAL  OF NAGA

 

Letter of Bishop Pedro de Arce asking for help for the Hospital of Naga.  Manila, July 20, 1611.

 

SIR: in the city of Caceres there is a hospital where the religious of St. Francis attend with much charity to the treatment of the sick, Spaniards as well as natives.  As it is very poor and in ruinous condition,  Your Majesty will do well to extend to it some alms to help in the maintenance of the sick who are being treated there,  particularly the natives who, suffer great want for they have no income, and the city furnishes very little help to the said hospital because the citizens are few and poor.  Accordingly, I know of no other remedy but to have recourse to Your Majesty, that, as you are so catholic a king and a Patron of all churches and hospitals of these islands, you may remedy this need, and give them sustenance which may appear most fitting to Your Majesty, particularly this hospital which suffer such a dire need.  Although I am very desirous of remedying this myself, I cannot do so, because I am also poor.  This I beg upon Your Majesty to have

pity upon it and succor it, and give whatever Your Majesty may judge sufficient.  It seems to me that Your Majesty might do, is to order the governor of these islands to assign some of the Indios from encomiendas that may become vacant to this hospital, to aid it.  In so doing Your Majesty will perform a great service to our Lord, and a signal favor and good to the said hospital, and to me who am seeking this in its name.  as it is a work of such piety, and service for our Lord, I have dared to make this request.  May he keep Your Majesty many long and happy years, for the of his Church.  Manila, July 20, 1611.

 

                                                                                      Fray Pedro de Arce,

Bishop – Elect of Nueva Caceres

(Indorsement – Council of the Indies, June 15, 1612)

 

Let the governor and royal officials of  Manila send information together with their opinion.

 

(Bikol Annals, by Domingo Abella, Vol. I p. 265).  Letter of Very Pedro de Arce, Bishop of Nueva Caceres, asking for aid for the FranciscanHospital of Naga, Manila, July 20, 1611. The Philippine Islands, by Blair and Robertson, Vol. XVII,  pp. 172 – 173).

 

HOSPITAL OF CAVITE

 

            In Cavite port, on the site donated by the Spaniard, don Felipe Correo, the Franciscans built a second hospital in 1591, under the patronage of the Holy Spirit.  It was intended for the sailors and the laborers of the arsenal there.  In 1610, through a deed signed that year, two pious men donated to it a piece of land in Santa Ana, which henceforth would be the basis of its income.  In 1640, Governor Corcuera removed the Franciscans from the hospital and in 1662 the building was demolished on orders of Don Sabiano Manrique de Lara,  Kuesing ( Fernandez, Pablo, OP, " The History of the Church in the Philippines", Boletin Ecclesiastico de Filipinas 44 [1970]. Pp. 652-653).

 

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            "There was another hospital in Cavite, but it was swallowed up in the sea.  At present a common house is used there as a hospital"( Juan Franicsco de San Antonio, OFM, Chronicas, Manila, 1738.  See The Philippine Islands, By Blair and Robertson, Vol. XXVII, p. 145).

 

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            "In the village of San Roque, outside the Cavite walls, those same religious [of St. John of God} had another hospital, the land of which was encroached upon by the sea until they had to abandon it.  In the year 1749, when I was also in that port, the religious had their sick in a private house, in which they exercised their ministries, until God our Lord provided them with a hospital by means of a benefactors who desired to cooperate in a work of so great importance and mercy" (Juan Delgado, S.J., Historia General, written in 1751-54. See The Philippine Islands, by Blair and Robertson, Vol. XXVIII, p. 177).

 

 

            "Fifty years ago Cavite was a good-sized place, but the seas has carried away part of it.  In less than fifty years the action of the waves has destroyed the Franciscan convent, and entire row of houses, the Hospital of San Juan de Dios, a considerable part of the wall, three forts and a ravelin" (LeGentil, A voyage to the Indian Seas [ Manila, 1964]. P. 79).  First published in 1781.

 

HOSPITAL OF TERRENATE (1618)

 

            "The Surgeon sent by your Lordship for this hospital [of Terrenate] I am sending back, as he is useless here – both because Fr. Fray Juan de Santamaria, a lay brother of St. Francis, is here, who attend to this with charity, willingness, and great skill; and because the former has certain defects or excesses that are not suitable for a country so short of the sort of thing that he cares about, and of which even the sick are in want.  Consequently, he would do better in Panay or La Pampanga, and his Majesty would save six hundred pesos of  salary" (copy of the letter written by Lucas de Vergara Gaviria,  Governor of Terrenate, Tidore, June 30, 1618." See The Philippine Islands, by Blair and Roberson, Vol. XVIII, pp.145-146)

 

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            But ten years later, Governor Tavora, was written, among other things, the following :

 

            "There have been other fires, this year… Another was in the city of [Nuestra Seņora del Rosario de Terrenate, where the convent and the Royal hospital were burned, together with a considerable portion of the native village" (Letter of Governor Tavora to Felipe IV, Manila, August 4, 1628." See The Philippine Islands, by Blair and Robertson, Vol. XXII, p 270).